New Castle County police officer kills pedestrian while responding to domestic disturbance call

Police said the officer’s SUV was fully marked but did not reveal whether he was speeding or had his emergency lights activated.

Police car with siren flashing at night.

A New Castle County police officer struck and killed a pedestrian on May 7, 2023. (z1b/BigStock)

A New Castle County police officer responding to a reported domestic disturbance Sunday night struck and killed a pedestrian who walked into the path of his SUV, police said.

County police stressed in a news release that the officer was driving a fully marked Ford Explorer when the incident occurred near New Castle around 8:45 p.m.

Authorities did not reveal whether the officer was speeding through the busy commercial strip on North DuPont Highway or if the SUV’s emergency lights were activated. The county has not yet responded to requests from WHYY News for that information.

Police identified the victim as 42-year-old Joseph Kaumbuthu of Smyrna, who they said walked from a grass median at West Franklin Avenue into the roadway, where he was struck. The crash occurred near the Dover Diner.

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Police say the officer stopped and performed CPR on Kaumbuthu, but he was pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital.

The investigation is “active and ongoing,’’ said police, who urged anyone with information to contact Sgt. Wesley Neeman at 302-395-8142 or by email at People can also call the police non-emergency number at 302-573-2800.

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